Checkmate‚ Mr President: Zuma pits wits against schoolgirl chess whiz - and loses

20 December 2016 - 19:13 By Nathi Olifant

President Jacob Zuma may have few equals on the political chessboard‚ but when it comes to the real thing‚ he was no match for a budding schoolgirl grand master on Tuesday.

In what has become an annual tradition‚ the president hosts a pre-Christmas chess tournament‚ choosing to pit his wits against one of the more promising pupils.

This year he was taken through his paces by Nokwanda Gcaba‚ 13‚ from AmaJuba‚ Newcastle during the tournament in Mandeni‚ on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast‚ a closely-fought contest he eventually lost‚ conceding defeat with a rueful smile and a handshake to congratualte the delighted winner.

This is the eight such tournament Zuma has presided over‚ taking place away from Nkandla for the first time this year.

It is organised by Jacob G Zuma Foundation and‚ since its inception in 2009‚ has grown in popularity and reached out to scores of schoolchildren during the December holiday.

Zuma said the pastime had grown enormously to become arguably the fastest growing sport in the country. - TMG Digital/The Times